The Welsh Ambulance Service has reported that some of its crews have been assaulted after asking patients to wear paper nose & mouth masks.
Some patients have been asked to wear the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a precautionary measure to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Crews have been asking patients who have been displaying symptoms of COVID-19 to wear the paper masks to help prevent the spread of the virus amongst emergency services personnel.
However, a growing number of medics have been physically assaulted after asking patients to wear a mask.
Emergency ambulance crews in Wales are now attending every call in protective equipment, including masks, visors, aprons and coveralls.
Talking about the situation, Claire Roche, the Trust’s Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, said:
“At this time, our crews will attend all incidents with personal protective equipment.
“What you may not be aware of is that they may also ask you, the patient, to put on a surgical mask.
“The reason they do this is to not only protect you but also for the protection of the people around you.
“If we do ask you to put on a mask, please do not be alarmed and follow the instructions of our staff.
“We understand how distressing this situation may be, and we also understand that putting on a mask while having shortness of breath may seem counter-intuitive, but it is the right thing to do.
“Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, our staff have reported a growing number of instances in which patients have been aggressive and have even been the subject of an assault after asking a patient to put on a mask.
“Assaulting our staff is never acceptable, no matter the circumstances.”
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